By Solomon Odeniyi
Poultry farmers in the State of Osun have joined in the call for the Federal Government to lift ban on the importation of maize into the country.
The farmers, under the aegis of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter, stated that the Conornavirus pandemic , irregular rainfalls and insurgency in the North have affected expected maize yields for the year.
In a press release jointly signed by the Chairman, Chief Oluyemi Olukiran and Secretary of the association, Dr Alaba Towoju the poultry farmers noted that maize remained indispensable component of productive compounded feed, adding that substitutes are either unavailable or unsuitable.
According to them, poultry farmers have been groaning under the upward movement of prices of compounded feeds, pleading with the government to allow importation of maize as a short term recovery effort to save the sector.
A copy of the press release addressed to Osun State government, National Assembly, Federal Government of Nigeria, which was obtained by OSUN Defender on Wednesday reads: “stakeholders in the poultry integration subsector, other livestock producers among others have made clarion call to the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria to lift the ban on the importation of maize into the country.
“Maize remains 50-60 percent indispensable component of any reliable, economically productive compounded feed. Substitutes being propagated are also either unavailable or unsuitable due to myriads of reasons.
“Famers have been groaning under persistent upward movement of prices of compounded feeds from N2,000 ten weeks ago to an average of N4,000 . The price increase is further complicated by unavailability.
“Also, COVID-19 , irregular rains and insurgency in the North is casting unquestionable doubt over maize yields this year as a result of highly reduced planted acreages.
“We suggest that the immediate permission of importation as short term recovery effort to bring the subsector back to it feet. The importation will also sustain the livestock business to tide over the imminent scarcity which will extend without doubt to 2021.
“The government should dialogue with all stakeholders to bring back the Government Grain Reserves . It absence is an indication of failure of existing financial or disbursement strategies. They should also deliberate intervention in high yielding maize seed production using existing structures as well as encouraging new investors.”